My Weitz & Luxenberg legal team obtained for me twice as much money as I thought I would be able to receive from my lawsuit. I was very pleased about that.
I chose Weitz & Luxenberg because the firm has a reputation for working really hard. I went with them because I didn’t want just anybody representing me. I felt that, if I was going to sue, I wanted a firm that had a lot of experience and a lot of resources. I wanted the big guns.
My legal problem was related to problems with my hips. I was born with hip dysplasia. I coped with my condition all through childhood and on into my adult years, but, finally, it came to the point where I was crawling up the stairs at home to reach my bedroom. My orthopedist said it was time for hip-replacement surgery.
Hip-replacement surgery was not completely unfamiliar to me. My mom had a hip replacement in 1982. It had gone swimmingly. She’s no longer living, but the implant lasted her right up to the day she passed away in 2005.
Both sides of my hips had the replacement surgery, eight weeks apart. A few months later, my sister from Montana also had the surgery, although it was for a congenital hip problem different than mine. But the doctor who performed my surgery also performed hers, and we each were given the same type of artificial hip implants – metal-on-metal.
After those surgeries, my sister and I both figured we were done with it for the next 30 years because the results looked good. Well, they looked good in the beginning.
Less than a year later, my implant began to fail. I was going up the stairs one day and realized I was using the banister to help pull myself up. Also, I ached a lot from inflammation around my pelvis and from pain in my hip flexors.
I went back to my orthopedic surgeon to see if he could explain what was happening. That’s when he gave me the news that my hip implants had been recalled.
In the summer and fall of 2010, I had revision surgeries done to remove the defective parts and put in safe new ones. My sister had revision surgery too, shortly after mine.
I’m better now than I was and can at least walk, but there are little problems that still remain from all the abuse my hips have taken.
The funny thing is it never occurred to me to get an attorney. I’m not the litigious type. But friends and neighbors who knew my situation kept advising me to sue. “Talk to an attorney,” they said.
Meanwhile, my doctor said I should think about contacting the implant manufacturer because they were making plans to offer patients some kind of compensation. After waiting a while, I decided to see what the company was willing to do.
When I called, I spoke to a woman who asked me what I thought my injury was worth. I wasn’t prepared to give an actual, calculated amount, so I just blurted out the first round number that popped into my head, which happened to be in seven figures. That was followed by such a long silence that I thought the woman had hung up. Finally, she responded and said in a very snooty tone, “Well, I can tell you if you’re expecting that kind of money, there’s nothing left for us to talk about.”
I asked her, well, what kind of money are you thinking? She said her company might, might, go as high as $100,000. I thought, you have no idea what I’ve been through – that amount you’re offering is not going to come anywhere near to making up for what I’ve had to spend on care and therapy and a thousand other things, plus what I lost by not being able to work.
I ended the conversation by thanking her for her time and letting her know that I was going to explore other options.
One of those options – and the one I and, later, my sister, ultimately picked – was Peter Samberg. A person I trust recommended him.
He was the attorney who oversaw both of our cases. The first time I spoke to Peter to get the ball rolling, my husband, sister and her husband sat in on the call so they could all be aware of what was said and ask questions of their own.
The thing we liked most about Peter was how friendly and down-to-earth he was. He was not slick. He was very real. A normal guy. But he was also clearly very knowledgeable. He was very reassuring. He did not try to push us down any particular road.
It added to our confidence when we found out that Peter had represented medical companies in the past and, because of that, knew all the tricks that this company was likely to try playing to get out of paying an amount that would be fair in view of the damage they had done.
I liked that Weitz & Luxenberg did not use an impersonal, one-size-fits-all formula for calculating how much money I should receive for my injury. The amount they said I could seek as compensation was calculated based on my unique circumstances. And it was done that way in order to get for me the most money possible.
One thing we didn’t know was how long it would take for justice to be done. We were told to expect as long as five years. So we were very happy when the defendant wanted to settle out of court a lot sooner than that.
Peter didn’t bring to us any settlement offers from the defendant until he felt there was an offer worthy of being looked at. He also gave input that was very helpful to us as non-experts in deciding whether it was an offer that we should accept.
In my case, the settlement I agreed to compensated me not just for the injury and for the losses I suffered because of it, but also for the hardships my husband and son experienced – what happened to me put each of them through the ringer, too. I really appreciated that Peter thought to look at my case from that angle as well and then take the extra steps to consider how my injury impacted my family situation.
I absolutely would use Peter Samberg and Weitz & Luxenberg again. If I knew someone who had a problem, I would without question recommend this law firm.